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Koome wants every county to have High Court to enable Kenyans get access to justice

Chief Justice Martha Koome has asked the Executive to provide resources for construction of more courts to enable Kenyans get access to justice.

Further, she said that every county should have a High Court, which will go a long way to improve delivery of justice in the country.

While inaugurating the Kajiado Law Court Complex and launching the operation of Alternative Justice System (AJS) model yesterday, Koome said there should also be a magistrates court station in every sub-county.

At the same time, the Chief Justice said the Judiciary will set a target of ensuring that no litigant travels for more than 100 kilometres to access a court station.

"What this means is that the Judiciary should promote access to alternative mechanisms of access to justice beyond courts. This is aimed at ensuring that litigants have various options in redressing social grievances. Thus, the launch of the Alternative Justice System model in Kajiado County is an additional step," said Koome.

The Chief Justice added that county governments, county assemblies, and other structures at the local levels are esential pillars to the delivery of justice for every Kenyan.

"Due to resource constraints, the Judiciary cannot realise the aspiration of having a High Court in every county and a Magistrate's Court in every sub- county on Our own. Hence, in many counties across the country, we have partnered with the county governments and the National Government Constituency Development Fund to provide land and build court premises.

She called on leaders in the county to partner with the Judiciary in the quest to develop court structures at the sub-county level.

"By doing this, we can fulfill joint obligation to ensure access to justice to our people. I therefore welcome discussions and initiatives aimed at collaboration between the county government or constituency leadership with the Judiciary geared towards making the quest to have a Magistrate's Court in each sub-county within Kajiado County a reality" said the CJ.

The Judiciary, she added, will explore opportunities to partner and collaborate with the World Bank and other development partners in initiatives geared towards enhancing efficiency in disposal of cases and ensuring broader access to justice for all Kenyans.

"I would like to thank the World Bank, which through its Judicial Performance Improvement Project (JPIP) has been a valuable partner to the Kenyan Judiciary. The JPIP, which is a $120-million (Sh12 billion) project was signed in December 2012 and imple mentation began in 2014" said Koome.

The project is the first World Bank Project in Africa and has been instrumental in transforming the institution to meet the aspirations of the public as envisioned in the Constitution.

"As we inaugurate this Kajiado Law Court Complex, the challenge is now upon the stakeholders in the justice chain, that is the judges, judicial officers, staff and court users to make use of this complex to improve on our ser vice delivery.

"Justice is a shared responsibility. This fact is reinforced by Article 6 of the Constitution which provides for devolution and access to services in Kenya," said Koome.

Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku said his government has proposed the construction of law courts in Namanga, Oloitokitok and Osilale where residents are forced to travel many kilometers in search of justice.

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Judiciary Kajiado County Kajiado Law Court Complex Kenyans Martha Koome

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